We made this on the weekend before the party, the children did most of the painting. It made them feel included in the preparations and excited about their coming party. The hardest thing about this bunting is that you need lots of clear surface areas for the flags to dry between application of each layer of paint.
We used good quality garden twine to hang the bunting and brown craft paper for the flags, it looks rustic and I think is more forgiving of a slightly more messy application of paint from 3 and 6 year old fingers. To figure out how many flags you need to make I would suggest you need to leave 120cm (48in) of string at each end to tie the bunting off and 5 flags for every meter (40inches) of string.
To make the Stars and Stripes bunting you will need:
- red, white and blue paint
- star stickers - like the ones they used to use on your work at school
- hole punch
- string or ribbon
1. Cut your paper into rectangles approximately 16cm x 18cm
2. With a pencil draw a smaller rectangle in the top right corner of approximately 6.5cm x 8cm, then draw 6 lines. OR if you are feeling brave just do this stage freehand in white paint, it really doesn’t matter if lines are a bit wobbly or paint is blobbed on irregularly. If you are using white paper ignore this step and go straight onto step 3
3. When your white paint is dry put 7 star stickers onto the white square, then using red paint add 4 red lines.
4. Once the red paint is dry, paint a blue rectangle over the top of the stars covering your white rectangle (or if you have used white paper straight over your stars). Once the blue paint is dry peel off your stars. Underneath will be the star shapes in white.
5. Now place your flag portrait in front of you and make 2 holes about 1cm from the top on the 2 outer white lines. Thread your string through the holes until you have your bunting. A knot in the string every few flags will help it hang evenly.
We cut out stars in card, covered them in silver foil and strung these every three flags or so.
Don't underestimate how much the children can do to help. And home-made decorations are much more charming than shop bought. Just don’t try and make them perfect, the odd mistake or messy painting looks great.